Friday, January 10, 2014

Keep Writing Forward by Stacy Hawkins Adams



Stacy Hawkins Adams
Did you set writing goals for 2014? With any new resolutions made, there is the possibility that other responsibilities will hinder us accomplishing those writing projects we hope to complete. Consequently, we may become discouraged. Author Stacy Hawkins Adams is here today with great tips to help and encourage us in this year’s writing journey. 

~ Dawn






Keep Writing Forward

I’ve been there. Yes – right where you might now find yourself: staring at the pages of an unfinished manuscript or gazing at a calendar, wondering how another year arrived before you birthed your book.

This advice may sound trite now that I’ve become the author of nine books; but it’s a speech I give myself with each new project: Just start, and keep going. When the writing flows, let it flow. When the writing is slow to come, write anyway.

That’s the “secret,” you see – understanding that the first draft of your book doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. It just needs to be tangible, to exist. If you can find the discipline to create a loose outline for your fiction or nonfiction project and use that as a guide to write from one page to the next, you’ll find that you have one chapter, then two, then three and so forth. Keep writing, without stopping to revise or edit, even if you feel the urge to toss the material you’ve produced and begin again. 

When you finish your manuscript, you can move on to the next most important phase - revising and editing, and seeking feedback from a few selected readers.

If you get stuck, keep this advice in mind:

  • You are the best person to tell your book’s story. Carve out time to write and treat that time as sacred. Finish that first draft quickly, then take twice as long polishing your “book baby” to make it shine.
  • Appreciate that writing and publishing a book epitomize a marathon. Make sure that you’ve undertaken this feat because you love the craft and the process of writing, not because you’re on a quest for often-elusive fame and fortune.
  • Determine your mission as an author and keep that in mind when new ideas or new plots threaten to take you off course. Focus on your current project and finish that story. Even if you move on to another idea and produce that as your first project to publish, the time you’ve spent on your current manuscript will still be worthwhile; all writing practice and efforts improve one’s writing skills.
  • Many view being published as “having arrived,” and there is certainly joy in holding one’s printed book or seeing one’s author name and book title flash across a website or the screen of an ebook device. However, an author’s greatest reward should be two-fold: seeing your book dreams come to life as well as serving as the muse for a body of work that can potentially transform or alter readers for the better.

Enjoy your writing journey, and remember that the love of writing is a gift. How awesome that you’ll someday share your stories or compelling nonfiction with the world! 



Tweetables:

When the writing is slow to come, write anyway. Click to tweet.

Carve out time to write and treat that time as sacred.  Click to tweet.

Appreciate that writing and publishing a book epitomize a marathon. Click to tweet.

Remember that the love of writing is a gift. Click to tweet.




Shiloh Griffin has no identity outside of her roles as pastor's wife and mom. Some days that is enough, but not always. Particularly when she is partnered with the always confident and beautiful Jade Smith on a church ministry project. 

When an opportunity arises to teach music at a local high school, she thinks maybe it's just the thing to give her more significance. Then Shiloh begins mentoring Monica, a fifteen-year-old student who winds up on a questionable path. 

When Monica makes a potentially life-altering choice, Shiloh confronts her own darkest secret in the desperate decision facing the teen. If she turns away, this teen's life—and her soul—could be in jeopardy. If she decides to stand up and help, she knows she's the one who risks losing everything.  The question at hand is whether she’ll keep her halo intact, or lose her honor to save Monica’s.




Stacy Hawkins Adams is an award-winning inspirational author, parenting columnist and speaker. Her eight women’s fiction novels and one nonfiction devotional book highlight themes of personal growth, women’s friendships, grace and matters of faith. Stacy’s most recent novels include Coming Home, which was a 2012 Target stores “Recommended Read,” and Lead Me Home, which was nationally released in July 2013. Stacy provides occasional book coaching to aspiring authors.

For more information, contact her via her website or via one of her social media pages.



 

3 comments:

  1. Good points, Stacy. I'd love to do the quick draft thing, but I'm an edit-as-I-go writer. And no matter how much I plot beforehand, some of my best ideas come during the writing. Then I go back and change previous things before continuing. I finish books, but it probably takes me longer than it should sometimes. Any suggestions on ways to train myself to turn off that inner editor for the first draft?

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  2. Stacy, thanks for these helpful reminders! This year, I’m focusing on writing and completing book two in a series I’m creating. It’s so easy for me to get distracted by other responsibilities—family, work, etc. Too often, writing gets pushed down the list, and then I become frustrated. One of my goals this year is to restructure my time so my life becomes more balanced.
    Your novel looks intriguing!

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  3. I love your advice, Stacy. And I had to chuckle at the fame and fortune. I needed this pick me up today because I am facing down a wip that I wasn't sure I would/should write. Thanks!

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